Most of you know that I struggle with fibromyalgia, a chronic illness that causes widespread body pain, fatigue and cognitive difficulties (“fibro fog”)
So what CAUSES fibromyalgia? Doctors don’t know for sure what exactly causes it but do believe a number of factors play a role:
- Infections (like mono which I contracted in college. The Epstein Barr Virus, which causes mono, stays in a person’s system for the rest of their life but .)
- physical or emotional trauma (like the seizure I had which resulted in me breaking my collarbone)
- widespread pain
- jaw pain and stiffness
- stiff joints and muscles in the morning
- irregular sleep patterns
- irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- difficulties with memory and concentration, known as “fibro-fog”
They are so many more symptoms. Not every person who has fibromyalgia deals with the same symptoms as someone else. It varies from person to person, which is why I believe it’s so hard to diagnose.
Researchers believe repeated nerve stimulation causes the brains of people with fibromyalgia to change. This change involves an abnormal increase in levels of certain chemicals in the brain that signal pain (neurotransmitters). In addition, the brain’s pain receptors seem to develop a sort of memory of the pain and become more sensitive, meaning they can overreact to pain signals.
It’s a daily struggle, that’s for sure.
For anyone who has a chronic illness, some days can be just plain awful. Once in a while we’ll have a good day but I know for me, that after that “good day” the next few are bad. And why? Well for me,and probably most people, it’s because we did too much on that “good day.” We did more than we should have
I’ve been struggling with fibromyalgia since around 2008 when I was living in Nashville, TN. My doctors there were ruling out other illnesses and trying to come up with a plan when I had to abruptly move back home to Norfolk, VA. So as I tried to transfer my medical records to a doctor here, I discovered the doctor I chose didn’t believe in fibromyalgia and told me it was all in my head.
The doctor after that told me the same thing. I couldn’t find a doctor who would believe me. It was all in my head according to them! Until 2016. This doctor finally believed me! He told me that fibromyalgia was indeed a real illness. I am currently being treated by him. He’s a great doctor who takes the time to listen to his patients. He genuinely cares for his patients. I told him that if he ever left to start his own practice, I would be following him. LOL
I think my biggest frustration with fibromyalgia, besides the body pain and fatigue, is the memory issues. I have the worst memory. I get words mixed up and half the time can’t remember what I was trying to say. It’s so annoying. That’s why sometimes I go for days without a blog post because the words just won’t come or they get mixed up and I just get so frustrated that I don’t write.
(Maybe I should write through the frustration! It’s a thought! I’ll have to give it a try!)
I don’t understand why I must have fibromyalgia and all these other health problems (bipolar disorder, ADHD, PCOS, anxiety, depression) but I know that God is in control and will help me fight these battles. Perhaps He’s allowing me to go through this so that I may grow closer to Him, reaching out to Him always. To learn to depend on Him always.
Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you
I Peter 5:7